Here’s another set of entries from my journal. This month there are updates on my temporary contract at work, and various bits of entertainment news, including a top 100 poll about cartoons, an extensive review of the Red Nose Day telethon, and my initial reaction to the highly anticipated relaunch of a certain sci-fi show. So I hope you enjoy as always!
Friday March 4, 2005
A bit of sad news to start the week off – a friend from school called Suzannah has died of pneumonia. She died this past weekend (26-27 February), and the funeral was today. A couple of friends called to tell me, so it was nice to chat to them again, even if it wasn’t in pleasant circumstances.
On a happier note, I definitely carry on working next week. The plan was always to keep me on until the end of March apparently. I’ve had a letter saying my contract has been extended until Thursday 31st March. Odd day, I know, but it is the end of the financial year, so it does make sense in that respect. Plus, I’m eligible for a £50 bonus from the local agency that helped me get this job, as I’ve been in employment for 13 weeks, so my manager signed the form so I could claim it. I’m going to get some more Premium Bonds soon, as my bank balance is quite healthy now.
There isn’t anything else to mention, so I’ll finish with Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Cartoons:
- The Simpsons
- Tom & Jerry
- South Park
- Toy Story 1 & 2
- Family Guy
- Shrek 1 & 2
- The Lion King
- Spirited Away
- The Incredibles
- Bugs Bunny
- The Flintstones
- The Iron Giant
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Finding Nemo
- Wallace & Gromit
- The Ren & Stimpy Show
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
- Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies
- Princess Mononoke
- Monsters, Inc.
- Danger Mouse
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Spongebob Squarepants
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Daffy Duck
- Mickey Mouse
- Beavis & Butthead
- Beauty & The Beast
- He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe
- Sylvester & Tweety Pie
- The Magic Roundabout
- 101 Dalmations
- Charlie Brown
- King Of The Hill
- Samurai Jack
- Ivor The Engine
- Inspector Gadget
- Wile E. Coyote & The Road Runner
- Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
- Donald Duck
- The Little Mermaid
- Winnie The Pooh
- Fritz The Cat
- The Jungle Book
- The Powerpuff Girls
- Chicken Run
- Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
- Foghorn Leghorn
- Battle Of The Planets
- Top Cat
- A Bug’s Life
- Captain Pugwash
- The Snowman
- Hong Kong Phooey
- Wind In The Willows
- Monty Python
- Alice In Wonderland
- Legend Of The Overfiend
- Pepé Le Pew
- Willo The Wisp
- Lady & The Tramp
- Belleville Rendezvous
- The Adventures Of Tintin
- Noggin the Nog
- Peter Pan
- Yogi Bear
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Roobarb & Custard
- Droopy Dog
- Watership Down
- Jamie & The Magic Torch
- Woody Woodpecker
- Felix The Cat
- Captain Caveman & The Teen Angels
- Mighty Mouse
- Animal Farm
- Mr. Magoo
- Queer Duck
- Charley Says
- Betty Boop
- Huckleberry Hound
- Wait Till Your Father Gets Home
- The Pink Panther
- Wacky Races
There’s some goodies in there, and the top spot is hardly a surprise. There’s some weird Japanese anime mingled in there as well, which I’ve never been a fan of, and some other obscure ones, but it’s quite a good list overall.
Saturday March 12, 2005
In work this week one of my colleagues has left his job, having been made redundant, and went on holiday to Egypt with his wife as an anniversary present. And my supervisor turned 40 this week, and duly brought us all cakes, which is the tradition for the birthday person to do! Nothing else too interesting has happened this week at work though.
I also had a go at the BBC’s latest Test The Nation quiz yesterday. It was about entertainment, and I didn’t do that well – 24 out of 62 (after they lost 8 of my answers, despite me texting them all in). I’m not big on films, musicals, etc, so I’m not surprised or bothered.
Our Eurovision entry has also been decided. Jordan had loads of publicity about her entry, including lots of interviews and Phones4U texting thousands of customers, but after all that she came second on Saturday to Javine (a former Pop Idol contestant, apparently). Gina G, the only other person apart from Jordan I had heard of, came last. All songs were equally awful, so were right up to Eurovision standards.
In more interesting news, it’s Comic Relief time once again. They did a survey of the funniest TV shows, with the top 10 being:
- The Office
- Fawlty Towers
- Only Fools & Horses
- The Simpsons
- Little Britain
- Father Ted
- Monty Python
I wouldn’t have put The Office at the top, it doesn’t make me laugh particularly. I can see why people might find it funny, but it doesn’t tickle me. I wouldn’t put that, Little Britain or Friends in a top 10.
The Red Nose Day telethon on Friday was pretty good though. It seemed to be more entertaining than Children In Need. The presenters were Lenny Henry, Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall, Graham Norton and Chris Evans, and highlights included:
- A special episode of Little Britain. I’m not enough of a fan to buy DVDs of it, but I do watch it sometimes if it’s on, and this was fun. It featured George Michael, Robbie Williams and Elton John.
- Spider-Plant Man. Yep, you read that right. Rowan Atkinson starred as the superhero in this comedy adventure, along with Jim Broadbent and Tony Robinson as Batman & Robin! And Rachel Stevens guested as the pretty lass who Spider-Plant Man had to rescue.
- Peter Kay’s video to Tony Christie’s Is This The Way To Amarillo?. He mimed to the track, with lots of celebrities joining in throughout, including Brian May, Roger Taylor, Jim Bowen, Ronnie Corbett, Keith Harris & Orville, Bungle from Rainbow, and many others. It was really good fun to watch, so I’m glad they repeated it later in the night.
- The Celebrity Fame Academy final. I was very surprised to see Adrian Edmondson taking part, he’s a great sport. I’ve caught a couple of his performances, which he does in his typical manic style! They were all genuinely doing it for charity, rather than attention, which is good. Adrian, incidentally, made it through to the final, only to come 3rd. But he didn’t care, he’d obviously had fun. Edith Bowman, a TV presenter, won it, while Kim Medcalf was in second place. They both have good voices to be fair.
- Drunken Fame Academy. After midnight, and after some drinks had been consumed, a few of them did karaoke, without knowing what they were about to sing. Adrian, I’m pleased to say, was one who had a go. Not that he really sang the song, he just mucked about. They even managed to get judge Craig Revel Horwood to have a go as well, much to his surprise!
- Jack Dee, having been stuck up a pole in 2003, was promised they would be nice to him this year. So he got a makeover from Trinny & Susannah (from What Not To Wear), had a go at presenting the weather live, and went on a date with Miss World. All of which went wrong of course, or it wouldn’t have been funny!
- Comic Relief Does University Challenge. This was presented by Angus Deayton, and had contestants including Stephen Fry, Neil Morrissey, Hugh Grant, John Thomson, Armando Iannucci, and Omid Djalili, in a battle of North vs South. The South won (well, they did have Stephen Fry!). It wasn’t as hard as the normal show, of course, as it was just for fun.
- Jools Holland & His Orchestra were present throughout the evening, and performed not just with the last 2 Fame Academy girls, but also Will Young, Ruby Turner and, best of all, Eric Clapton.
- Children’s BBC double act Dick & Dom did a week of special editions of their In Da Bungalow show. Various celebrities were gunged and messed up, and there was also the Pro-Celebrity Bogies tournament, where celebrities competed against Dick and Dom to shout “Bogies” at increasingly loud volumes in public places. Strange, but fun for charity.
- McFly did the Comic Relief single (All About You). Not really a highlight for me, as I’m not a fan of theirs, but it’s good that it’s raising more money.
Of course, all the stars gave up their time for free, to help disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa. And they raised over £37 million on the night. That’s their best night yet, so they should be able to beat their final 2003 total of £61 million, which is great.
Friday March 18, 2005
It looks like my temporary contract is going be extended again! They seem to want me to stay on, as the new forms printing system still isn’t finished yet. We’ve been focusing on stuff for the end of the financial year, so it’s got a bit pushed to one side really. I’m not sure exactly how much longer it will be, but it’s good news nonetheless, as I was due to finish on March 31st. And if this temporary contract ends up being for 2 years in total, then I would have to be given a job, apparently. But, as I’ve always said, I won’t get complacent. Some people are holding a strike next Wednesday over pensions, but I’m not in the union, so I’ll still be going to work as usual. But we all get next Friday and the following Monday off, as it’s Easter Weekend next week already!
Queen‘s tour is being advertised all over the place, with most tickets having sold out already. Paul Rodgers, singer with Free and Bad Company, will be the frontman. John Deacon won’t be there, but that’s not a surprise. He doesn’t want to go through the stresses of touring again, unlike Brian and Roger who were keen to do this. It’s a shame, but John has every right to just enjoy his retirement after being part of such a phenomenal group. It should be interesting to see what happens anyway. I’m not going to any of the gigs, sadly, but hopefully they’ll do an album or DVD at some point.
Still, I have some interesting things to watch as it is. I’m still going through the extras on the Lord Of The Rings extended DVDs. I managed to finish the commentaries a couple of weeks back, so I’m going through the other stuff, it’s all very interesting.
And on TV we’ve got a new Two Ronnies series over the next 6 weeks, called The Two Ronnies Sketchbook. It’s basically just repackaged sketches with new links in between but, with only 2 compilation DVDs out, it’s a much better way for me to see more of what they’ve done. We’re going to record all 6 hours over the next 2 weeks. I think everyone’s expecting the Fork Handles/Four Candles sketch to appear, it’s bound to.
And then, of course, we’ve got Doctor Who on Saturday 26th. I never saw the older shows, although I’ve seen enough clips to know roughly what it’s all about. There’s a Doctor Who Night on BBC2 this weekend, and then the new series starts next Saturday. It’s looking good from all the build-up, I have to say.
Sunday March 27, 2005
My contract extension hasn’t yet been confirmed. But we do get a 4-day weekend, as it’s Easter. And I’m owed about a week’s leave after doing 4 months employment, so I’ll take that soon. I don’t want to lose it if my contract doesn’t get extended for a third time. And we got our latest payslip this week. So, as my money keeps going up, I ordered some more stuff from Amazon last weekend to treat myself:
- The final 5 Status Quo reissues – There are still quite a few other albums to get, of course. But at £7.99 each, these are a bargain.
- The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Soundtrack – Great music for 3 great films.
- Tony Christie & Peter Kay – (Is This The Way To) Amarillo? – One of the few charity songs I like, and for a good cause (Comic Relief). Far better than the main single by McFly. Amarillo got to #1 last weekend too.
The Status Quo and the Lord Of The Rings albums arrived this weekend, and are both great from what I’ve heard so far.
- The Simpsons – Season 5
- Minder – Series 10 – The last one, so I’ll finally have them all!
- Comic Aid – The comedy gig to raise money for the tsunami. Not always great, but 3 hours of material can’t be sniffed at.
- Tony Christie & Peter Kay – (Is This The Way To) Amarillo? – The video is brilliant, and I’m glad it’s coming out on DVD. It is on the CD single so I can play it from there on the PC, but it’ll be much better on the TV.
In the news, Scottish factory worker Craig Crosbie has been crowned the world’s fastest texter, after typing out this message in 48 seconds: “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.” He beat the previous record holder by 19 seconds apparently. He’s 24, and sends about 75 text messages a day!
As for sport, England beat Northern Ireland 4-0 in the first of our World Cup qualifiers, which is a great start. And Oxford won the boat race this year, which was shown on ITV for the first time. Mum watched it, and said it was nowhere near as good as the BBC’s coverage. ITV use the same group of people for a lot of their sports stuff it seems, like Gabby Logan, who know nothing about the boat race. The BBC, on the other hand, use people who know what they’re talking about.
And on TV, The Two Ronnies Sketchbook was good last week. And now this weekend we’ve had the much-hyped new series of Doctor Who, the first time I’ve ever seen it (although I did see the documentary the week before, which was a good introduction). So, what’s the verdict? It’s great fun! Having never seen a Doctor Who episode properly, I had nothing to compare it to, but there was action, humour, special effects, and just great escapism. I think it’s been getting good reviews in general too. And there are 13 episodes, so there’s finally going to be something decent on Saturday nights for the next few months if that was anything go by!